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Millennials open up the wallet to attend a wedding

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Kayana Szymczak

Say what you want about millennials, but they're not cheap — at least when it comes to weddings, according to one recent study.

The study, released by American Express, claims American millennials will spend an average of $893 when attending a wedding as a guest this year. That's 27 percent more than the general population, which is estimated to spend $703 per fete.

That's also an increase from last year, when the general population spent $673 per wedding and millennials spent $720, according to the study.

Of course, those numbers increase if an individual is in the wedding party: the general population will spend an average of $743 this year if they're in the party, while millennials will drop a whopping $928.


Those surveyed said they will attend an average of three weddings this year.

The study surveyed 1,803 adults in February and has a margin of error of 2.3 percent.

Curiously, Americans are spending less on wedding gifts if the bride or groom is a relative. The study found that the average gift for relatives this year is $127, down from $142 in 2015.

Americans are spending slightly more this year if the wedding gift is for a friend. In 2016, the average gift for a friend's wedding is $99, versus $90 last year, according to the survey.

A gift purchased from the couple's registry is the preferred wedding gift in 2016, according to the study. Of those surveyed, 37 percent said they preferred to give registry gifts, 31 percent preferred cash, and 13 percent went with a gift card. Five percent said a gift not found on the registry, and 4 percent preferred to give support for the honeymoon.

More Americans are also self-funding the bulk of their wedding costs rather than receiving support from their parents: 53 percent of couples paid for a majority of the wedding with cash or credit cards, the study said. About one-third of those surveyed said the parents of the bride or groom paid for most of the wedding; 2 percent said they borrowed from their parents to pay for a wedding.


Of those surveyed, 30 percent simplified their nuptials by either going to a courthouse or holding an intimate ceremony or reception.

Other cost-cutting measures included:

• 24 percent of those surveyed ditched the wedding planner

• 21 percent selected a less expensive venue that wasn't their first choice

• 19 percent pared down the guest list

• 18 percent selected less expensive stationary

• 18 percent chose a buffet rather than a plated dinner

• 15 percent downgraded the decor

• 13 percent altered or delayed honeymoon plans

Additionally, 55 percent of married couples completed some sort of do-it-yourself project — such as making their own wedding album, centerpieces, or guest favors — to cut costs.